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Pope Francis's short visit to America comes after a series of papal speeches and publications about current issues in American culture and politics, including immigration, economics, sexuality, and climate change. His speech to Congress will be a historic first—never before has a pope formally addressed our politicians. What are the implications of that? In what ways can we all, Catholics and non-Catholics, welcome his perspective? Where should we challenge it? What is the significance of the pope's visit for Catholics and for people of other faiths or no faith at all?


What You Need to Know About the Pope in America

FAQ: The Pope in America

FAQ: The Pope in America

Tim Muldoon

From general to really specific, here are eleven Pope Francis facts!

History of the Popes in America

History of the Popes in America

Thomas Albert Howard

Pope Francis' visit should prompt us to look back at past papal visits and consider the Holy See’s attitude toward the United States more generally.

Hierarchy in the Catholic Church: Deacons and Priests, Bishops and Popes

Hierarchy in the Catholic Church: Deacons and Priests, Bishops and Popes

Patheos

The Catholic Church has a clearly defined hierarchy of clergy members and people in religious life. Here Patheos provides a comprehensive guide to Church structure.

Pope Crushes

If We Need a Religious Leader, Let Him or Her Be Like Pope Francis

If We Need a Religious Leader, Let Him or Her Be Like Pope Francis

Farouk Peru

Here was a Pope who stood up against consumerism and unbridled capitalism... If ever we need religious leaders, he would be the kind we need.

I Love Pope Francis (There, I Said It)

I Love Pope Francis (There, I Said It)

Jason Mankey

Pope Francis is not perfect, and far from it, but I think he's been a game-changer for the Catholic Church. I can say without shame that I love this Pope!

A Pope for All People

A Pope for All People

Porter C. Taylor

I am not a Roman Catholic but I am proud of Pope Francis as a Christian and I look forward to his visit and his continuing papal ministry.

My Pope Francis Bubble Has Popped

My Pope Francis Bubble Has Popped

Barbara Falconer Newhall

OK then, Francis, pope of surprises. Surprise me. Let go of some of that churchly power.

Catholic Commentary

Pope Francis's Speech to Congress Was Not as Liberal as You've Heard

Pope Francis's Speech to Congress Was Not as Liberal as You've Heard

Tony Rossi

Solutions require "dialogue," compromise, hard work and sacrifice. Those aren't liberal or conservative ideals. They're American ideals.

Hope and the Pope of Surprises

Hope and the Pope of Surprises

Tod Worner

Are you watching this? Are you paying attention to this Pope? Because what I'm seeing is Hope.

Is the Pope Catholic?

Is the Pope Catholic?

Melinda Selmys

What, precisely, is the benchmark of ideal Catholicism against which the Pope is being judged?

How Pope Francis Stunned Me and America

How Pope Francis Stunned Me and America

Tod Worner

When will this happen again? When will the world be transfixed by joy?

Pope Francis Is Only Out For One Thing

Pope Francis Is Only Out For One Thing

Lisa Duffy

Millions are re-considering their perspective on the Catholic Church because of the welcoming nature of this very personal pope.

Pope Francis and the Barbarians

Pope Francis and the Barbarians

Max Lindenman

Eager to glimpse the big picture of Francis’ pontificate? Frustrated connecting the dots from soundbyte to soundbyte?

Is the Pope a Socialist

Is the Pope a Socialist

William Droel

Despite the evidence of the 2007-2008 economic collapse, many people still defend laissez-faire or nearly unregulated markets.

Pope Francis: A Power Profile

Pope Francis: A Power Profile

Deily

The Council on Foreign Relations brought together three leading Catholic experts to discuss Pope Francis ahead of his visit to the United States.

Francis, Uncut

Francis, Uncut

Gina Loehr

The Pope is an American. It just happens that he's never set foot in the United States before.

A Mom's Take on Pope Francis' Visit

A Mom's Take on Pope Francis' Visit

Susan Hines-Brigger

After the pope's visit, I suspect his message will be one that I'll be able to carry on as a parent.

Perspectives from Non-Catholics

Dear Pope Francis

Dear Pope Francis

Matthew Distefano

I hope your visit impacts others to take a stand in the name of peace, in the name of unity, and in the name of love.

A Fake Photo Taught Me Something About Pope Francis

A Fake Photo Taught Me Something About Pope Francis

Brandon Mark Showalter

Even as I have read the moving stories and seen the pictures of his compassion in action since he became Pope, I do not think I fully realized just how beloved he is.

Some Critical Questions for Pope Francis on Climate Change

Some Critical Questions for Pope Francis on Climate Change

Roger Gottlieb

Even if we won't win, should we stop trying to live with love?

White House Guests Deepen, Not Divide, Pope Francis' Welcome

White House Guests Deepen, Not Divide, Pope Francis' Welcome

Lindsey Bergholz

Pope Francis is coming to town, but his gifts of respect and love aren't made to be hidden away.

Surprised by the Pope

Surprised by the Pope

The Rev. Porter C. Taylor

Let us stop being surprised by the Pope. Let us look at our own hearts and lives to see if we are truly extending God’s love into the world.

An Open Letter to Pope Francis by Dr. Hussein Rashid

An Open Letter to Pope Francis by Dr. Hussein Rashid

Deily

A culture that truly values lives does not focus on one act or one moment. It seeks to create a positive value of life from the cradle to the grave.

I'm Not a Fan of the Pope and You Shouldn't Be Either

I'm Not a Fan of the Pope and You Shouldn't Be Either

Dan Wilkinson

As the hullabaloo over Pope Francis' visit to America reaches a fever pitch, it's important to keep in mind some sobering realities about the organization he leads.

12 of Pope Francis' most popular tweets

12 of Pope Francis' most popular tweets

Deily

Recently named the most influential world leader on Twitter by data research blog Twiplomacy.com, Pope Francis has maintained a social media presence since he joined the social network two and a half years ago.

Pope Francis Visits U.S.: Greed Is Your Fatal Flaw (Esther 7:1-6, 9-10, 9:20-22)

Pope Francis Visits U.S.: Greed Is Your Fatal Flaw (Esther 7:1-6, 9-10, 9:20-22)

Amy Erickson

We asked people what they thought about Pope Francis.

My Hope for the Pope

My Hope for the Pope

Brandan Robertson

It is my prayer that as the nation turns its eyes on D.C., New York, and Philadelphia to hear Francis' proclaim the Gospel.

Featured Panelists

Islam's Papal Parallel

Islam's Papal Parallel

Salaam Bhatti

Just as the pope leads the single largest Christian sect on earth, the Khalifa leads the single largest unified Muslim community on Earth.

The Papal Staff and the Hunger of the Nation

The Papal Staff and the Hunger of the Nation

Holly Taylor Coolman

The pope's ferula is not so much a sign of power as it is a sign of vulnerability and encounter, signaled by the cross on top.

Why This Pagan Just Might Need the Pope

Why This Pagan Just Might Need the Pope

Holli Emore

As a Pagan, I do not need Francis to be my spiritual leader. But as a world citizen, I need his call to compassionate leadership.

Pope Francis, a Rabbi, Mercy, and Rosh Hashanah

Pope Francis, a Rabbi, Mercy, and Rosh Hashanah

Brad Hirschfield

I am a grateful Jew who simply wants to thank Pope Francis for reminding me about the power of mercy, at just the right time in my own ritual calendar.

A Papal Address to the Heart of the American People (Not Their Politicians)

A Papal Address to the Heart of the American People (Not Their Politicians)

Fr. Robert Sirico

America has been one of the greatest poverty-reducing machines in history. More than one faithful Catholic has wondered whether this pope understands this truth.

The Pope's Caritas: Evocative of a Hindu's Karuna

The Pope's Caritas: Evocative of a Hindu's Karuna

Padma Kuppa

Pope Francis is creating a new image for the Roman Catholic Church, one that many in the Hindu community in America can appreciate.

The Pope in America: Three Steps Forward!

The Pope in America: Three Steps Forward!

Brian McLaren

As a non-Catholic who was born in the Vatican II era, I feel like I’ve lived most of my life in the “two-steps back” phase of Catholicism.

A Wish List for Pope Francis

A Wish List for Pope Francis

Michael Novak

You admitted that ever since your father, an accountant, brought work home on weekends, you have had a grudge against economics and finance.

The Sea Change of Mercy and Forgiveness

The Sea Change of Mercy and Forgiveness

Phil Fox Rose

By focusing on love and reconciliation rather than dogma, social issues, and politics, Pope Francis could bring a sea change for the American Catholic Church.

The Two Most Important Lessons Pope Francis Can Teach the U.S.

The Two Most Important Lessons Pope Francis Can Teach the U.S.

John Schlimm

Pope Francis's first-ever visit to the United States offers each of us a blueprint for hope, no matter who we are or where we are amidst the uniquely diverse American tapestry.

Pope Francis and the Futility of Pigeonholes

Pope Francis and the Futility of Pigeonholes

Edwin Tait

Pope Francis and the Church he represents offer Americans an alternative to both "Left" and "Right," a new vision of the human person made in God's image.

Two Popes Across Thirty-Six Years

Two Popes Across Thirty-Six Years

Mark Tooley

This Argentine pope is more skeptical of the Anglo-American historical paradigm than his two predecessors, whose nations were liberated by that paradigm from dreadful tyrannies.